In June of 2016 our family was already driving a Nissan Leaf EV, when we test drove a Tesla Model S with our 8 year-old daughter along for the ride. Now J is a big hugger, but that morning a very unconventional hug of hers taught me something new — Kids Just Get EVs!
As we gave the Tesla back after the test drive, J asked if she could hug the car goodbye. I said yes and asked her to be gentle, and she went ahead and laid her little body on the hood with both arms outstretched across it. With her ear against the smooth metal she said, “she’s making a sound”. I couldn’t hear the car making even a peep, so I put my ear on the hood and sure enough it was making a very faint hum… I told her it was the car’s heartbeat and she smiled and gave it a soft pat as she said, “bye bye, have a good rest”.
I had never witnessed anything remotely like that after a drive in a car before that day. It amazed me then, and has many times since, how young kids treat EVs like family members from the first time they have an experience with them. It is fascinating to watch how children sense a different vibe from these machines — it’s got to be because these cars give off an aura of being calm and gentle — they are quiet; don’t get hot to the touch; and don’t give off bad smelling fumes. If I was a sociologist, or the VP of Marketing at Tesla, I would initiate a study of this!
Two years later, we still love our Leaf and we now also drive a pre-owned Model S. This month J had to prepare for her first public speaking gig in her 4th grade class. She came home from school a couple weeks ago telling us that she had chosen to speak about why EVs are good for the environment, and that her teacher would be helping her to write the speech. The draft of her speech is attached (they start by writing quite phonetically, so I have transcribed it below with the spelling corrected ).
You can argue the accuracy of some of the points in J’s speech, though what you cannot argue is that very young kids intuitively understand the benefits of EVs. Having spent time with them in their schools, it is clear to me that most of today’s children will develop strong “energy literacy” by the time they are young adults. I am uplifted by the realization that these kids are going to work harder and more creatively at repairing the planet than we can yet imagine!
“Electric Cars Are Good For The Environment” by J Shore
“Electric cars are good for the environment because they don’t pollute the world. Electric cars are good for the environment because their batteries can be recycled or reused. The batteries last for 10 or more years. You can charge your electric car at home, while cars that run on gas can go to the gas station. Energy in BC comes from rivers, while gas comes from fossil fuels. Electric cars are good for the environment! The cars that run on gas stink and make people sick, and then they have to go to the doctor to see if they are ok! Electric cars are cheaper to drive than gas cars. Cars that run on gas make noise and it hurts people’s ears, while electric cars are quiet! Electric cars go faster than gas cars.”